Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Recovering Postpartum

So I'm four weeks postpartum and may I say it is awesome to be my pre-pregoo self again fully recovered. You've all heard me say it before but I'm just not one who enjoys being pregnant.  The aftermath of giving birth isn't fun either.  This isn't my first rodeo so bouncing back has been a lot faster this time than the last.  It also helps that I had a super duper easy labor and delivery. [Completely opposite than my first, but this whole pregnancy has been that way.]  I wanted to share four little tips I've learned that helped me bounce back quick.  I would also love for you to share your experience and tips [whatever it may be] for those new moms that may help them once those hospital bracelets are off.

I'm mostly going to be talking about the physical recovery because pushing out that watermelon does quite a bit of damage.  To keep it real the swelling, bleeding, possible tearing.... the squishy tummy you are left with.  It's not pretty folks.  

1.  As soon as I delivered and days after, the nurse told me to continually massage my uterus to get it back to its old self. It speeds bleeding but shortens the amount of days you will bleed.  It worked for me.  

2.  To help with the swelling and tearing [if you had it], sit in a warm bath for 15 to 20 minutes every night.  This helped me heal with my first one fast and did wonders for the swelling with this second one.  Not to mention it's a great time to relax after a long day with a newborn.

3. Get up and get out.  I felt so good this time around I really didn't waste time getting up, out and about.  Going for walk with the hubby or out shopping.  I took every opportunity to walk around and it helped me to recover faster.  

4.  Nursing....  I know not everyone can or wants to but it really helped my stomach to shrink fast.  Pumping that milk too!  For some reason,  I have an abundance of milk supply with this baby.  I had to pump the excesses four days after delivery.  So to kill two birds with one stone I would pump while sitting in the warm bath.  Worked perfectly.  All the extra milk has been a blessing too because daddy, big sister, and visiting family have been able to feed the baby too.  It allows me to have a little freedom and them to have some bonding time.  Plus,  introducing the bottle illuminated the problem of him not wanting it.  It took me forever to get the little lady to take a bottle when she was a baby.  So if you have extra, pump it!

[Just a note, don't let excess milk sit because the pain is excruciating.  I thought I was going to die. Lesson learned for me!]

The nursing and pumping makes your uterus contract and with some light exercise you can see its helped with that squishy belly.  These pictures were taken in the morning before breakfast so no optical illusions.  

Now it's time to buckle done and get in a real work out routine to get back into shape.  My hubby thinks I just bounced back with the first but it doesn't work that way.  I actually had to work hard to get my body back.  I want to take you along this bouncing back journey with me so stay tuned. 

I hope the four tips help those of you soon to be new moms!  I would also love to hear your tips and suggestions for recovering postpartum whether its physical or even emotionally.  Share it with us in the comments section. 

Until next time.  Toodles! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yummy Easter Peeps Nests

It hardly feels like Easter is right around the corner.  We have been so busy with company every week [including this week] that we haven't really done anything festive.  That's why I posted the Easter Round Up last week in case you wanted to do something festive and needed ideas.  Sometimes, holiday madness just has to take a back seat.  Can't do to it all every year.  It's been really nice just to enjoy the company of family and unplug for a tid bit.  I did want to share these really cute snacks the little lady and I made for her school's Easter party.  I found them on Pinterest and it's pinned on my Easter Board.  Peep nests.  Such a clever idea for whoever thought of it.

I love this snack because she was able to help me with it.  We melted the chocolate and I dunked the pretzel sticks in the chocolate and used some tongs to get them out.  Once the nest was created I let her put the yellow marshmallow Peep on and the Whoppers eggs.  We had a great time as usual. 

They were relatively easy to make and the teacher told me they were a HUGE hit with the kiddos.  Granted they all had chocolate all over their faces, but that's the fun of being a kid.  And don't worry healthy moms I also sent along some strawberries to balance all this sugar.

Last week I also shared some of the things in her Easter basket.  I try not to fill her basket full of candy, but with fun little trinkets.  I found those adorable little eggs at Dollar Tree and a lot of the stuff at Target's dollar section.  Who doesn't love PEZ?! 

Putting together an Easter Basket is like making an arrangement for me.  I like for it to look pretty and I like it when you can see everything inside.  If you are that way too and have some heavy things in the kiddos basket [like a new Bible] then fill the bottom with stones to keep it from tipping.  

Put everything in and WALA a basket!

Other than the treats the only other thing we did was dye Easter eggs.  Just a tradition in my family we have done year after year.  Didn't they turn out so cute?! 

Do you have any fun plans this Easter?

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Zen Swaddle by Nested Bean

Just a quick disclaimer: Nested Bean only sent me the swaddle to review. This is not a paid post.  

As you well know, sleep and I have recently been separated thanks to night time feedings every two to three hours.  When Nested Bean asked me if I wanted to review their swaddle I jumped at any opportunity to possible get more sleep.  Meet our Zen Swaddle, the huge upgrade to the one I made a few weeks ago. 

Here's what I love about it... 

The material is lightweight and perfect for the upcoming spring and summer.  It is really good quality fabric.  I love the cute print and the little details, like the chick. There is a little pouch inside the bigger outside swaddle.  This is perfect for newborns or itty bitty's.  It lets you use the swaddle longer.  My little man is a little to long for the little pouch so I just put him in the big pouch.

I also love that the soft part of the Velcro is this huge square.  Makes it even easier to swaddle especially for daddy. 

If your little one hates having his or her arms constrained like mine, you can swaddle them with their arms free.  Look at him freaking out until realizing he is free to move.  I have to bribe him with milk at bedtime to get him to keep his arms inside.  

 Did I mention it is lightly weighted!?  That's probably my favorite part and let me tell you why....

He may be cute, but this little man hates being put down.  He loves being carried.  He's so different than his big sister.  I never really had this problem with her.  As long as she was fed and warm, you could put her down.  That's why I love that this swaddle is weighted.

There are these little beads inside the chick and on the sides to give the feeling that's someone is holding you.  I have washed the swaddle twice already and it hasn't affected the weights at all.  It actually washes really well.  

It's a genius idea and it may not work for every baby but it works for this little mama's boy, especially at night.... because at night is when the real fun begins.  We are routine kind of parents so both kiddos in bed by 8 [at least that's the goal it usually means 8:30].  We like to have time to ourselves.  My husband usually has little miss all tucked in on time.  I on the other hand am still rocking, singing, patting this little one to sleep.  No joke after he is fed, held and rocked I try to lay him down [when he hits that deep sleep] and within minutes he starts stirring until he's eventually awake.  Darn you startle reflex.  It was really frustrating the first few nights.

So when I got the swaddle the light bulb came on.  Now I swaddle him up, begin our bedtime feeding and it's worked!  Yup that's him sleeping in his crib, all by himself, without being held, wrapped in his swaddle, with my shirt next to him so he thinks I'm right there.  Tough little cookie.  It cut my usually 45-50 minute bedtime feeding and getting him down to sleep to just a 20 minute feeding.  I don't even have to wait for him to hit that deep sleep.  I didn't get the two extra hours of sleep like the box says but I can say he sleeps much more peacefully in this swaddle [even over the one I made him].  I think the weights really help and make the difference.  

The only thing I don't like is that in the middle of the night it is such a pain to change his diaper [but that's with any swaddle].  I can see why this saddle costs as much as it does [$30 on amazon] and it is definitely worth the money, but it could get pricey if you buy two.  I would really like two because when one is in the wash I'm paralyzed. Other than that I would highly recommend this swaddle especially if you have a tough cookie.  

You can check it out on Nested Bean's website or order one from amazon by clicking HERE.  I put the amazon link because I like amazon but you can really buy these anywhere.

Other than swaddling what are your tricks and tips to getting these little newborn munchkins to sleep solo in their cribs?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Easter Round Up

Can you believe Easter is right around the corner!?  I can.  I feel like I have been collecting Easter basket stuff for awhile.  Every time I hit the store I just pick up a little something, that's why there are so many random tid bits.  Can't wait to get everything together and see her reaction to her basket.

 I share THIS website every year because they have some great ideas for stuff to fill the kiddos Easter baskets.  This year, I found everything from the dollar section at Target and Dollar Tree. You can check out the baskets I have put together in the past by clicking on the pictures below.  Last years basket was probably my favorite.

Looking for some other fun things for Easter?  You can check out my Easter Pinterest board or the Holidays section on the blog.  I actually updated the Easter section. 
[Click on the images below to go to the post]

These Resurrection Eggs with the free printables are perfect to explain to kids what Easter is all about.

Looking for some yummy treats?  Try the festive chocolate Oreos or the Peep 'S mores.  I think we'll do the peep ones this year they are so cute. 

Here are some paper crafts you can do.  The candy filled paper eggs would be really cute and fun for the kids to give to their friends.  
And if you like to sew and are feeling up to the task, try making a sock bunny!  I wouldn't recommend this unless you love to hand sew.  

Are you doing or making something fun for Easter? 

Until next time.  Toodles!  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Life With a Newborn.... How Could I Forget

Three years is just long enough to forget...

Those sleepless nights.  Sleep deprived, zombie like, I'll take a grande... make that a venti.  Oh it's time for my nap too!  My poor broken out face.    I think the longest stretch I have gotten in two weeks is three hours.  REM how I miss thee.
How could a little seven pound body eat so often?  Feedings every two hours and diaper changes. And speaking of...

Diapers, diapers, diapers.  We've come full circle.  Got one out of em' and I'm right back on the saddle with this one.  I really don't remember having to use this many diapers in one day, but then again that was three years ago.  It may be because he does his business and then right in the middle of a feeding he will decide to soil the new clean fresh one I just placed on his cute little bum.  And it slowly comes back... they like to poop in fresh diapers.  I can almost guarantee he'll poop on a fresh one right after a bath.  Do newborns really poop this much?  Holy guacamole!  And those wasted diapers I've used to shield myself from the water works.  Yup.

Taming the Teenie Peenie.  I definitely never had to experience this before.  Boys are different and the pee that you see all over me, the pack and play, his onsie, that fresh diaper I was holding will prove it.  I'm losing the battle to the Teenie Peenie.  A day without getting peed on is a good one.  I'll get the hang of it eventually, but not without a few more casualties.  I don't think our washer and dryer has seen this much action in years and not just from the pee.  

Cottage Cheese Spit Up.  Why do I even bother trying to burp without a burp cloth.  I really should start carrying mini burp clothes in my pocket because when that volcano explodes I grad whatever is closest to wipe it up.  It's usually sacrificing my shirt to save his.  Spit up is just part of everyday life.  And after all that spit up you want to eat again?!  

Nursing anywhere, anytime.  It doesn't matter that we just got to Costco for lunch or I'm right in the middle of shopping at Target... when he's hungry it's stop, drop, and feed.  In the car, at the Starbucks, whenever, wherever.  He always seems to know it's dinner time too because just as I get the table set and the food on the plate the siren rings.  He wants to eat while we eat too.  It's always a spectacle to see me eating with my off hand dropping food everywhere including him. 

I've been on this road before, but I still somehow forgot all these fun little newborn quirks.  All jokes and sarcasm aside I wouldn't trade it in for the world.  Having a newborn is tough, but oh so worth it.   All those snuggles I get because yup he loves begin carried.  There's nothing better than having a newborn in my pouch.  Kissing that sweet little head and that getting a good whiff of the baby smell.  The good, the bad, and the ugly... that's

Hearing his little voice.  Holding his little hand.  I love that he looks just like his daddy.  I love that he knows how I smell, he gets quiet when I sing even if my voice is terrible.  I love holding his squishy little burrito body when he's wrapped in his swaddle.  Best of all, seeing the two of them bond... makes it all worth it!  Who needs sleep anyways?! I'll sleep next year and envy you for all the sleep you are getting.

Until next time.  Toodles!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tutorial: Baby Swaddle

Making this swaddle brings back so many memories of my first pregnancy.  It was the time I decided to really learn how to sew because I wanted to make tons of stuff for my baby girl. This project was the first pattern I had ever tried to use and luckily the little lady loved being swaddled.  Three years later here I am making it again but this time for my little man.  Sadly he doesn't love being swaddled as much as the little lady, but I still use it on him but let his arms free.

Here is the first one I made.  Doesn't she look so cute all wrapped up?!  This swaddle is a hit with the daddy because it is Velcro and so easy to use.

If you are a beginner at sewing don't be intimidated because the hardest part about this pattern Is printing it out and putting the pieces together.  You can find and download the pattern and instructions HERE.  Now there's written instructions with the pattern but I thought I would do a tutorial for you visual learners out there.

  I made it in two different sizes.  Not bad... Two swaddles for 6 bucks!

Start by cutting out all the pattern pieces making note of where the notches are.  You should have four total pieces.  Two for the outer and two for the lining.  You can essentially use whatever material you want for the lining.  A winter baby, I would choose a heavier warm material.  I chose a lighter fleece.  Flannel is also a good option. 

Fold the notch so that the lines are touching right sides together, sew it, and trim.  I like to zig zag the edges afterwards.

Line up the outer fabric right sides together.  Pin and sew the front to the back.  Repeat for the lining. 

Turn the outer piece right side out and tuck it into the lining.  Pin and sew all the way around, pivoting where the blue arrow is pointing.  Leaving an opening in one of the side arms.

This is where you will turn the swaddle right side out. 

Turn the swaddle right side out and tuck the lining inside.

You can iron it out if you would like to make top stitching easier. 

Top stitch along the entire swaddle.  Here is that pivot I was mentioning earlier. 

Pin on the velcro pieces.

When it is all sewn in you will be ready to swaddle that fussy baby!

Perfect for anyone who doesn't know how to swaddle and safe for babies while they sleep at night.

Hope this tutorial helps you with the written instructions.

Until next time.  Toodles!